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Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 13:16:59 +0100

HDRA rally at Ryton, Warwickshire 21st April 2001

There's a rally in Wolston Village this Saturday (21) 11am, followed by public meeting at the Village Hall on Thursday (26) April 7.30 pm

Not Very Ryton

Ryton Organic Gardens, the long established headquarters of HDRA, the organic organisation, is under threat of losing its organic status - thanks to a nearby genetic test site. The GM maize trial proposed at Wolston in Warwickshire is less than two miles from the gardens.

Not only is organic food grown at the gardens to be sold in their shop and restaurant, but there are trial areas used to develop improved organic methods mainly funded by the Ministry of Agriculture.

So what sort of genetically modified idiot came up with the idea to put the trials at Wolston? Who decides where GM farm trials go? In theory it should be the government appointed Scientific Steering Committee, but in reality it's SCIMAC an industry body who have taken on the job of finding farms, which the Steering Committee then rubber stamp.

The industry then provides the seed and pays farmers a 'compensation package', thought to be around £1,000 per hectare, while the taxpayer stump up the rest. In the case of the 32 maize trials that's £4.4 million. According to a spokesman from Aventis, the 'life-science' corporation behind the maize trials, they knew of the existence of the HDRA site but they reckon there's no risk from the GM crop so they didn't bother to tell them. The first HDRA heard was through a local radio station.

Fodder maize is grown specifically to be fed to cattle - but it can cross-pollinate with sweetcorn, and bees - which HDRA have on site - could move the pollen several miles from the crop each day. And that sort of contamination could lose the biggest organic organisation in Europe its organic status.

HDRA, Ryton Organic Gardens, Coventry, CV8 3LG
tel - 02476 639229
web -

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